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Update on new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion MB

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15 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

While it is not dumb to encourage strategies to increase membership, setting quotas is because it WILL (emphasis) lead some professionals to cut corners, have creative membership numbers, ghost units, ad nauseum. You will have some unscrupulous pros who will do whatever it takes to meet these quotas. I hate to be pessimistic, but have seen it as a volunteer and as a professional. It does happen.

Any organization that wants to accomplish a goal uses metrics to force focus and measure progress. In the case here, non-white ethnic groups are underrepresented in the BSA.  Similarly, the BSA put a lot of energy into developing programs for girls and so it is natural to want to bring more girls into the program.  It is correct and appropriate for the BSA to challenge councils to develop concrete plans to achieve these results.

A councils plan to increase membership in these groups needs to be based on actionable strategies.  They should not simply look at a DE or a district and say "recruit more girls."  Instead, middle management (i.e. field directors and council VPs of membership) need to be tracking specific actionable steps designed to accomplish the goals.  For example, if a goal is to start three new units for girls in a district, then a district needs to have a plan for how they will achieve such a goal.  What are the 15 prospective COs that the DE will approach?  Who are the 10 most likely existing leaders who would serve as either CC or SM in a new troop?  What 5 packs that do not have troops is the district going to target to encourage development of a new troop?  

The historic practices that led to shoody membership numbers in the past are the result of poor middle and senior management.  It is not in a councils best interest to have fake scouts and units. So, if that is happening, the council VP of membership and the council board needs to be on top of that and highlight it.  In a more general sense, there have been salesmen fudging numbers since there have salesmen.  That doesn't mean you don't have sales quotas - no, it means that you have management enforce proper oversight to ensure that salesmen are doing their jobs correctly.  Unethical salesmen get fired and ethical salesmen promoted.

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54 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

A councils plan to increase membership in these groups needs to be based on actionable strategies.  They should not simply look at a DE or a district and say "recruit more girls."  Instead, middle management (i.e. field directors and council VPs of membership) need to be tracking specific actionable steps designed to accomplish the goals.  For example, if a goal is to start three new units for girls in a district, then a district needs to have a plan for how they will achieve such a goal.  What are the 15 prospective COs that the DE will approach?  Who are the 10 most likely existing leaders who would serve as either CC or SM in a new troop?  What 5 packs that do not have troops is the district going to target to encourage development of a new troop?  

If I seem pessimistic about this topic, it is because I have seen a lot of fudging over the years in multiple councils. And it seems as if National turns a blind eye to the matter until forced to look. Does R. Holmes and Greater AL Council ring a bell?  From experience and talking to pros over the years, DE WILL be pressured to short cut the process and get those units and numbers. Doing things the correct way does indeed work. But you may only get 1 new unit a year out of it. And most SEs and DFSs want more.

You may have a few councils, and it sounds like yours is one of them, that may do the right thing. BUT that can change, SEs and DFSs set the tone. As the folks in those roles change, so do the methods. After I left the profession, my SE was replaced a year later. New SE, cleaned up the membership mess. It stayed clean for a while, but eventually a new SE came aboard.

1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

The historic practices that led to shoody membership numbers in the past are the result of poor middle and senior management.  It is not in a councils best interest to have fake scouts and units. So, if that is happening, the council VP of membership and the council board needs to be on top of that and highlight it.  In a more general sense, there have been salesmen fudging numbers since there have salesmen.  That doesn't mean you don't have sales quotas - no, it means that you have management enforce proper oversight to ensure that salesmen are doing their jobs correctly.  Unethical salesmen get fired and ethical salesmen promoted.

 

I agree it is poor Senior Management. But they are the ones setting the tone, and because most Senior management pros are in a council 3-5 years, they believe the problems they have caused will be someone else's problems to solve. As for council boards, well al lot of them are "yes men." And there are ways to hide the fudging from the exec board, unless they are also involved on the unit/district level. As for unethical salesmen getting fired and ethical salesmen getting promoted, sadly I do not see that happening. I see the unethical ones getting promoted, and the ethical ones leaving, or getting lateral transfers to other councils. And the councils they move to tend to be smaller, no chance of promotion, councils. Best example I know if is the DFS of a metro council who found some issues, and corrected them. As a DFS, he supervised 2 FDs, and 14 DEs. He was "promoted" to SE of a 3 county council with 1 FD and 3 DEs.

 

 

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I can think of no better way to push away what remains of the old guard.  Those of us who never bought into the concept that girls were required for the betterment of BOY scouts, are now being asked to support a hastily shammed up Eagle required merit badge that twists that knife.  No one can prove that diversity and inclusion  are strengths; they are buzzwords from the left.  Now councils are supposed to be half female?  Do the Girl Scouts' lawyers know that yet?

Folks like me are changing our wills. Don't bother with an FOS request.

A small bitter part of me hopes that the perv bankruptcy lawyers carve up BSA and bury it so that I can mourn and move on.  

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These metrics are not very well thought out. Units are struggling to increase membership in any unit. Asking for an increase in some demographic without the skills needed just reminds me of old Soviet 5 year plans. It's a great source of corruption.

If they want to increase minority membership I think a better approach would be to encourage SE's to create a relationship with community leaders of minorities. And, rather than ask them to volunteer to create scout units they should ask them what parents want for their kids. Assume that scouting is not it and just be helpful and friendly. Just a hunch but my guess is parents are more worried about their jobs and help with schooling/day care. The reason I say that is that just about every parent I know has that issue right now. Creating a relationship will create trust and that will do more for creating units than just asking for units. Of course, it's hard to create a metric for friendly and helpful, so, never mind.

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1 hour ago, MattR said:

These metrics are not very well thought out. Units are struggling to increase membership in any unit. Asking for an increase in some demographic without the skills needed just reminds me of old Soviet 5 year plans. It's a great source of corruption.

If they want to increase minority membership I think a better approach would be to encourage SE's to create a relationship with community leaders of minorities. And, rather than ask them to volunteer to create scout units they should ask them what parents want for their kids. Assume that scouting is not it and just be helpful and friendly. Just a hunch but my guess is parents are more worried about their jobs and help with schooling/day care. The reason I say that is that just about every parent I know has that issue right now. Creating a relationship will create trust and that will do more for creating units than just asking for units. Of course, it's hard to create a metric for friendly and helpful, so, never mind.

The worst part to me is that this is what National has come up with at a time when the organization really needs some strategic, innovative re-structuring based on independent outside market research. Tinkering with territories, increasing fees, and expecting that membership and recruitment quotas will assure scouting's future is just more of the same thinking that has gotten us where we are. BSA is staring its own demise in the face. If it doesn't understand how much it needs to change its way of doing business now, it likely never will. How can you meet quotas without BSA giving councils, districts, and units any tools or knowing what would work for more diverse families? 

 

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54 minutes ago, yknot said:

The worst part to me is that this is what National has come up with at a time when the organization really needs some strategic, innovative re-structuring based on independent outside market research. Tinkering with territories, increasing fees, and expecting that membership and recruitment quotas will assure scouting's future is just more of the same thinking that has gotten us where we are. BSA is staring its own demise in the face. If it doesn't understand how much it needs to change its way of doing business now, it likely never will. How can you meet quotas without BSA giving councils, districts, and units any tools or knowing what would work for more diverse families?

And to add...How do we compete with Boys & Girls Club and the Y which are serving the needs of these families, as much as possible, in the pandemic. What if families primarily want an inexpensive, after-school program and not a more expensive scouting program? Why are we the better choice?

And why are we loosing our existing customer base...that fact does not help in extending our customer base.

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
pronouns...
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14 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

And to add...How do you compete with Boys & Girls Club and the Y which are serving the needs of these families, as much as possible, in the pandemic. What if families primarily want an inexpensive, after-school program and not a more expensive scouting program?

And why are we loosing our existing customer base...that fact does not help in extending your customer base.

My $0.02,

You are absolutely correct. We need objective, independent data in order to figure out effective ways forward and we are not getting it. There's enough publicly available research out there conducted by other youth organizations on millennial and other trends to know we are completely and frustratingly missing the mark. BSA doesn't seem to be paying attention to any of it. 
 

 

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On 11/7/2020 at 8:08 AM, jjlash said:

Yes, the basic tenets of Scouting incorporate the ideas but they do not, in themselves, raise awareness of different kinds of diversity, and what equity and inclusion looks like for different groups or different circumstances.  Our goal is to make "good human beings" and Eagle Scouts should be the best examples of this - so it seems like a really good life skill for Eagle Scouts to have had an introduction to DEI beyond what they might experience in their own little corner of the world.

 

Over 2 years ago, PragerU posted a video which warned of the dangers of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion philosophy.
https://www.prageru.com/video/dangerous-people-are-teaching-your-kids/


In short:
"Diversity" doesn't mean "a wide ranging group of ideas". It means "increased influence by people more generally aligned with leftist ideals" (usually from groups that deem themselves "oppressed")
"Equity" doesn't mean equal opportunity (a laudable goal!), but is instead a focus on equal outcomes, something NO society has EVER come close to achieving. Anything short of it is "evidence" of discriminatory bias; the choices that people make that cause most of these inequities (not all) are merely byproducts of more discrimination.
"Inclusion" doesn't mean "be open to others joining your group". Instead it generally focuses on identity based quotas in order to achieve the aforementioned malformed concept of equity.

Recently (yesterday?), BSA released a video regarding a new Merit Badge: the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Merit badge...if that doesn't raise a red flag, I'm not sure what does.

https://vimeo.com/476454128?fbclid=IwAR2EfbOR-YLmhoDdKVztS0SpP73fJuEK49iua3_xiPJ7ps_VDDxcCDO4vYI

I will grant you, they have NOT released the requirements for the MB, but the title and video content alone should be alarming. The video does nothing to dispel such alarm.

This is an attempt to appease the leftists in our society. Appeasement NEVER works. They will only demand more. Despite claiming the material will be taught in an "apolitical manner", its title alone makes me question that assertion. Making such a hyperpolitical concept a REQUIREMENT for Eagle Scout Rank is more than absurd, it's pushing a political agenda.
Unless this is a poorly phrased title and the video doesn't match the content of the Merit Badge (which doesn't appear likely), I call on all friends of Scouting to speak up and say "no" at your next Roundtable. This top-down directed Merit Badge is an attempt to usurp Councils/Units without input from the scouting community at large and dictate political correctness.

Edited by BQZip
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On 11/15/2020 at 9:45 AM, qwazse said:

More importantly, since this initiative is overtly a response to BLM, youth membership quotas do not directly address misplaced attitudes of supremacy in America’s youth.

To do that, one should provide youth with mentors from minorities and the opposite sex. Not because someone from that group would be particularly well versed in the subject. (They may not even hew to the expected rhetoric.) Rather, by having youth from majorities mentored on occasion by people of integrity from minority groups, those youth gain memories of positive interactions that may offset seeds of bias that would otherwise be planted.

I see ZERO evidence of "supremacy"

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4 hours ago, BQZip said:

I see ZERO evidence of "supremacy"

How many youth and young adults have you worked with?

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6 hours ago, BQZip said:

I see ZERO evidence of "supremacy"

Just because you don't get out enough to see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. 

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7 hours ago, BQZip said:

I see ZERO evidence of "supremacy"

 

50 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

Just because you don't get out enough to see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. 

I've come to look at this as an area where awareness is a good thing.  Our country is has a deep and long history of racism and went through many reprehensible periods in our past.  Maybe someone looks around today and sees no racism where someone else sees lots of racism.  Regardless, it helps us all to grow by being acutely aware of the feelings of others on topics of racism, diversity, and equality.  We're all people who relate to other people.  I'd rather understand better the feelings of those who might feel oppressed so that I can avoid contributing to that.  Since I'm not trying to discriminate to start with, I'd much rather know how I am perceived and then be able to take actions to avoid inadvertently adding to the problem.  I find this is why it is useful for youth to go through the same.  Most youth I know really are pretty open minded and a little awareness is a good thing.  So with that in mind, I'm all for taking little steps like this

Now - there's another whole topic of whether there is too much "school" in Scouting.  Yes, there clearly is too much school in Scouting.  So that puts me on the fence on this MB. Yes, I think it's good for youth to learn about this topic and increase awareness.  Yet I think we need more doing, less talking.

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2 hours ago, BQZip said:

While I want to be inoffensive, there are some people who are looking to be offended and will go so far outside what is reasonable that their demands to be inoffensive are themselves offensive. Example: while in the military, I had a complaint filed about me because I had an apple on my desk. Apparently calling a Native American an "apple" is an insult...red on the outside, white on the inside. The member felt the daily fruit from my lunch was personally directed at him despite the fact he was NOT in my flight and NOT even in my unit (he just happened to regularly go through our unit). So, no, I'm not going to go THAT far out of my way to be inoffensive. Intent matters. Context matters. Things that are offensive to some are inoffensive to others. In our melting pot, we should talk about it and understand each others' intent OVER how offended someone may be.

I get what you're saying - but why make an issue out of it?  If someone wants me to stop leaving apples on my desk because they are sensitive to the implication of it, I'll be happy to take the apple off my desk.  Yep, occasionally good people get inadvertently blamed - but it has a way or sorting itself out when others then can speak to your character on your behalf.  I'm sure in your case others stood up and said that you were a great guy and had no ill intent at all.

To me, it's about putting myself in other people's shoes.  For a very long time in our country's history minorities had it very tough.  Many would say that minorities still do.  I'm happy to make some changes in my world and put in the effort to try and ameliorate that feeling.  Further, if people who are feeling persecuted see others going out of their way to avoid that, then maybe, just maybe it will build some bridges. Seems like a pretty neighborly thing to do to me. To me, this is a good level of awareness for our scouts to obtain.

Edited by ParkMan
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On 11/15/2020 at 11:49 AM, JoeBob said:

No one can prove that diversity and inclusion  are strengths; they are buzzwords from the left. 

This may be one of the most concerning things I have ever seen on this site.   There are multiple studies, academic or business related, that illustrate the value and importance of diversity and inclusion.  There are countless successful leadership philosophies the herald the importance of diversity and inclusion.   Honestly, I think you have made up your mind and are not interested in anything actual proof of the values of diversity or inclusion to an organization, a leader, or to an individual.   

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